7 Steps to Selecting a Superb Christmas Gift

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Christmas is meant to be a time of love and relaxation. But getting gifts for people can often be very stressful. So, if you’ve looked at today’s date, seen that it’s nearing the date, and panic has set in as you’ve realised that you don’t know what to get…for anyone, then this article should help.

With Christmas day quickly approaching, and the seasonal festivities already being enthusiastically embraced, the fortunate few, who already have all of their Christmas presents bought, wrapped and ready, will be feeling rather smug. But for the rest of us, who aren’t sure where to begin with gift buying, the festive season can be a tad stressful.

So, here is my advice on how to select the perfect gift:

Step 1: Write down 5 words

Although this might seem like a silly idea, it really does work. Grab a piece of paper and write down the first 5 words that spring to mind about the person who you just don’t know what to get. This is a great starting point, for example, if you write down ‘sporty’, then you’ve already narrowed down the present possibilities.

Step 2: Activities

Alas, this is another key step in the gift selecting process, however silly it may seem. Begin listing activities the person likes doing, for example, baking, badminton, watching Shakespeare plays, playing video games…It might be that you immediately write down, ‘likes watching TV’, at which point you feel bad for not knowing what else they like to do, but even this cloud has a silver lining.

Step 3: The Gift

Now we start getting on to the actual gift choosing. Once you’ve written down at least 2 things they like doing, start writing down things that are associated with these activities. For example, if you honestly can’t think of anything else the person likes doing other than watching TV, then make them a gift pack for when they settle down to watch something on the small screen. You could include a DVD box set, a snuggie, popcorn, the list goes on…

Step 4: How much do you want to spend?

It’s always a touchy subject, but unfortunately it’s a necessary one to touch upon. Work out the minimum and maximum you think you should spend on this person. Ways to do this are to consider how much would they spend on a present for you and how much money you actually have, just to name a few.

Step 5: Homemade vs Shop-Bought

This isn’t always something people consider, but many actually prefer gifts you haven’t just bought on Amazon using ‘one-click’ (not exactly surprising but there we go). Chances are, when you start making the present, or putting it together yourself, you’ll actually have quite a bit of fun doing it. For example, a photo collage or a scrapbook.

Step 6: The Best Option

This shouldn’t be a step, but unfortunately it is. After following steps 1-5, you may now be overflowing with gift ideas. But, it’s better to choose the gift that you think they’ll actually like the most, not just the one that’s easiest for you to buy. If you think that they’d prefer something, which will take more time and effort, then you should go with that option (or Santa will not look kindly upon you, and no one wants that!).

The final step:

You wrap their gift and sit back, smug and relaxed, while everyone else rushes around at the last minute.

Hopefully now you should feel more confident about selecting a gift someone, good luck, and happy Christmas!

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Law student at the University of Southampton.

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